It seems like everyone's trying to proclaim the death of email. What started with Microsoft's $1.2B acquisition of Yammer a few years ago has been further fueled by Slack's recent $220 million valuation and rumors of Facebook's FB@Work platform. While it's true that startups like Slack are disrupting the email space -- email's not the best tool for collaboration or project management -- email marketing is having its own moment in the spotlight -- thanks to recent data supporting its ability to drive revenue and appeal to consumers' demand for one-on-one interactions with brands.
These 7 stats can help any business embrace the power of modern email marketing and make more meaningful connections in the inbox.
Nurtured leads make 47 percent larger purchases than non-nurtured leads
Every email address is an opportunity to sell, but that doesn't mean you have to hit subscribers over the head with promotions. Sometimes it's a slow build. The most successful email marketers queue up a series of automated emails that encourages a relationship with their business. The emails might contain expertise, advice, entertainment or a peek behind the curtain -- in addition to special offers. The regularity at which this content gets delivered keeps a brand top of mind, making it even easier for your subscriber to make the leap to customer.
Source: Annuitas Group
Email conversion rates are 40x those of Facebook and Twitter
Social media has proven to be a powerful marketing tool, but its success lies in its ability to cast a wide net and start telling your brand story to fans and followers. It's the cocktail party conversation of marketing, but don't expect to make many sales there. You're better off using your social channels to draw people in to your email list, because that is where deals go down. The Direct Marketing Association reports that email marketing ROI is $43 for every dollar spent, making it the most effective marketing channel out there.
Source: McKinsey & Company
Relevant emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails
I shop at Banana Republic, so for years I've received emails promoting their latest collection or upcoming sales. But what I've noticed lately is how dialed in their content is to my personal preferences. Somewhere along the way Banana Republic has figured out my penchant for blue and grey sweaters -- and I just love them for it. The marketer in me knows Banana Republic is using data smartly to target me, Sweater Man, even in the middle of summer. But on a basic human level, I just feel like someone gets me and wants to connect me to the stuff I like.
I also subscribe to emails from an online shoe retailer that hasn't quite picked up on the fact that I'm male, so I get to hear about things like upcoming sales on platform wedges. I'm way less likely to open their emails, let alone click and make a purchase.
Every business has data. The challenge (and the opportunity) is making data meaningful and actionable. And it's okay to start small -- try segmenting your list by gender, last purchase date or whether they opened your emails in the last three months. Tailor the message accordingly for your most successful email yet.
Source: Jupiter Research
Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14 percent and conversion rates by 10 percent
Here's the thing about email marketing: Everyone knows there's not a person manually sending each email, making sure the one that reads Dear Christopher is actually going to a person named Christopher. And yet, it works. Getting a personalized email is the equivalent of hearing your name shouted out in a loud room. It cuts through the noise and demands your attention. But personalization goes beyond just a first-name greeting. Inserting a recipient's company name or last item purchased is another way to use data to be more relevant.
Source: Aberdeen Group
58 percent of adults check email first thing in the morning
Many of us feel like we've accomplished something if we can check messages and knock out a few replies before our feet hit the floor. Marketers should take advantage of this AM obsession with our inboxes. Try sending your best reading material early in the day as a test -- you might just see a spike in engagement.
People check their mobile phone up to 150x per day
And checking email is actually the number one reported activity on smart phones, beating out making actual phone calls. The mobile inbox is a battlefield, though. Multi-column newsletters crammed with content can look pretty crappy on a small screen, so unless you're using a responsive template that automatically resizes and rearranges your content for mobile devices, you run the risk of shortchanging your brand and your message, not to mention getting deleted. (Did you know 80% of people simply delete an email if it doesn't look good on their phone? I told you it was a battlefield). Anyone can design for the mobile inbox, though: Just keep your content in a single column, use a 14-pixel font and design your buttons at least 46 pixels on each side -- that's the optimal size for fingertip taps.
Subscribers that receive a welcome note show 33 percent more long-term brand engagement
The very moment someone hands over an email address is when he or she is most interested in hearing from you. An automated welcome email helps you start your relationship with your subscriber on the right foot, and it pays off in the long run. I recommend sharing something valuable right away, like a whitepaper or a coupon, but you can also use a welcome email (or series) to share testimonials or tell your company's origin story -- anything that makes your new audience members feel like part of the inner circle.
So email is alive and kicking, but today's consumer is savvier and more protective of their inbox than ever. With a little extra effort around timing, content and design, email marketers can keep audiences engaged (and spending money). And who knows, maybe as we move our work conversations to programs like Slack and FB@Work, email marketing will see another surge of success. The inbox could very well become the place we go to take a break from work and interact with the brands that really get us.
Follow Christopher Lester on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ChristophLester